Nilva v. United States

PETITIONER: Allen I. Nilva
RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Congress

LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

CITATION: 352 US 385 (1957)
ARGUED: Nov 13, 1956
DECIDED: Feb 25, 1957

Facts of the case


Media for Nilva v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 13, 1956 in Nilva v. United States

Earl Warren:

Number 37, Allen I. Nilva, Petitioner, versus United States of America.

Richard J. Blanchard:

May it please the Court.

Earl Warren:

Mr. Blanchard, you may proceed.

Richard J. Blanchard:

May it please the Court.

With the Court's permission, I would like to make a brief review of the facts of this case.

In 1953, petitioner, Mr. Christianson and Mr. Paster were indicted and tried for the crime of conspiring to violate the Johnson Act, which prohibits the interstate shipment of gambling devices.

As a result of that trial, petitioner was acquitted.

The jury disagreed as to Mr. Christianson and Mr. Paster.

The following year, the Government retried the case against Mr. Christianson and Mr. Paster.

In preparing for the retrial of the Christianson case, the Government procured the issuance of subpoena duces tecum No. 160.

That subpoena was issued on March the 25th, returnable March the 29th, the date set for the beginning of the Christianson retrial.

On March the 29th, Mr. Paster moved to quash the subpoena.

The motion was denied and the District Judge Vogel issued an order compelling the Mayflower Distributing Company to whom the subpoena had been directed to forthwith comply.

On April the 1st, Mayflower Distributing Company purported to comply with the subpoena through petitioner, the vice president of Mayflower.

At a hearing in judge's chambers on the return of subpoena 160, petitioner was put under oath and testified concerning the return.

The Court, dissatisfied with his testimony, issued an impounding order directing the Marshal of North Dakota to impound the records of Mayflower Distributing Company in St. Paul.

That order was issued and the records were impounded.

The Christianson retrial proceeded to a conclusion.

A determination of the Christianson retrial, the Court sua sponte issued an order to show cause why petitioner should not be cited for contempt and set forth three specifications.

Specification 1, charged him with contempt for false and evasive testimony.

Specification 2, charged him with contempt in disobedience of another subpoena, subpoena 78 and specification 3, charged contempt in disobedience of subpoena No. 160.

The show cause order was issued April 23rd.

It was set down for a hearing on April 27th.

On the morning of April 27th, petitioner asked for an extension of time which was granted until 3 o'clock that afternoon.

At termination of the afternoon hearing, the Court found petitioner guilty of contempt on all three specifications and sentenced him to one year and a day.

Petitioner took an appeal to the Eighth Circuit.

While the case was pending in the Eighth Circuit, the Government filed a supplemental record.

That supplemental record was discussed at great length last Thursday.

The supplemental record is the last half of the record now before this Court.

It consists of 68 pages.